Informed Consent in Healthcare

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The Doctor and Patient relationship aspect of Medicine has changed drastically in the last twenty years. It has evolved from paternalism (the doctor makes the decision for the patient) to shared decision making where the patient is considered an equal partner in his/her own health related decisions. Informed consent is the cornerstone for this view. When a patient or a research subject makes an autonomous decision after understanding, the risks and benefits involved with the decision is Informed consent. Complete Informed consent covers the following components: competency, disclosure, comprehension and voluntary. Competency refers to the requirement for the individual to be of legal age and be mentally competent to understand the process.…show more content…
This meaning is subjective and can be different for each provider.
Another issue with the implementation of Informed consent arises when the patient waives the right to Informed consent and leaves the right to make the decision on the physician. Though legally correct, this can cause psychological stress for the physician especially when the decision is about a life threatening medical condition. Moreover, this also makes the patient vulnerable to abuse. (Manthous, DeGirolamo, 2003)
Legally and ethically under Informed consent a patient has the right to refuse specialty treatment or referral but needs to be informed about the risks involved with delay or lack of the specific treatment recommended. Mostly, if the patient does agree to visit the specialist then, the specialist is responsible for the informed consent for the specific treatment. But is has been contested and help in courts that the primary care physician still is responsible for the patients welfare in all phases of treatment. For a provider in a busy practice it is difficult to keep track of all the referrals and at times, the specialist’s office has a different outlook on the matter.
The learned intermediary doctrine puts the responsibility of drugs related informed consent unto the physician. This doctrine provides that manufacturers of prescription drugs and medical devices discharge their duty of care to patients by providing
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